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United States v. Barbosa

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 21, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ADILSON BARBOSA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HON. PATTI B. SARIS, Chief U.S. District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Defendant Adilson Barbosa moves to dismiss the indictment charging him with illegal reentry in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326. Relying on Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S.Ct. 2105 (2018), he argues that his prior removal order was entered without jurisdiction because his Notice to Appear ("NTA"), the document served on an alien and filed with the immigration court that initiates removal proceedings, did not include the date and time of his removal hearing. After a hearing, the Court holds that Barbosa fails to satisfy the three requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d) in his collateral attack on his prior removal order. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Barbosa's motion to dismiss the indictment (Docket No. 49).

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Barbosa is a citizen of Brazil. He entered the United States without inspection on October 22, 2003. He worked as a roofer for a year in Boston, Massachusetts and then in Pompano Beach, Florida. He lived and worked in Seattle, Washington for about six months before deciding to return to Boston.

         On December 9, 2008, as Barbosa was driving from Seattle to Boston, he was stopped near Fargo, North Dakota by the North Dakota Highway Patrol. He admitted he was in the country unlawfully and was taken into custody. The following day, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") served Barbosa with an NTA to initiate removal proceedings. The NTA stated that he was ordered to appear in immigration court in Bloomington, Minnesota "on a date to be set at a time to be set." Dkt. No. 50-2 at 1. The NTA was translated into Portuguese for Barbosa. Barbosa requested an expedited removal hearing and waived his right to a ten-day period prior to appearing before an immigration judge.

         Barbosa appeared in immigration court on December 18. He was represented by an attorney. After consulting with his attorney, Barbosa declined a continuance. He then conceded his removability and decided not to seek any relief from removal. The immigration judge ordered Barbosa removed to Brazil. Barbosa waived his right to appeal his removal order and was removed from the United States on January 12, 2009.

         Barbosa reentered the United States at some point after his 2009 removal. On June 7, 2017, he was arrested in Framingham, Massachusetts for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The next day, ICE took him into custody and reinstated his 2008 removal order. Barbosa waived his right to contest the reinstatement before an ICE officer. Barbosa was also indicted for illegal reentry in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326. The government dismissed the indictment when Barbosa was removed to Brazil on August 23, 2017.

         Barbosa returned to the United States for a third time. He was arrested on an open warrant in Framingham, Massachusetts on December 6, 2017. On April 6, 2018, he was indicted for the second time with illegal reentry in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326.

         DISCUSSION

         Barbosa moves to dismiss the indictment on the basis that his 2015 removal order was entered without jurisdiction because the NTA filed with the immigration court did not include the date and time of his removal hearing. He relies on the Supreme Court's recent decision in Pereira v. Sessions, which held that an NTA without the date and time of the removal hearing was not a valid NTA under 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a) and did not trigger the stop-time rule for cancellation of removal.[1] 138 S.Ct. at 2110. Agency regulations require the filing of an NTA with the immigration court to trigger the court's jurisdiction for removal proceedings, 8 C.F.R. § 1003.14(a), but the regulatory definition of an NTA does not require that it include the date and time of the hearing, see icK §§ 1003.15, 1003.18. Because Barbosa's NTA did not include the date and time of his hearing, he contends it was invalid under Pereira and did not vest the immigration court with jurisdiction to order his removal. He alleges his prior removal order is therefore void and cannot support an illegal reentry charge.

         I. Standard of Review

         Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(b)(1), a defendant "may raise by pretrial motion any defense . . . that the court can determine without a trial on the merits." Pure questions of law are properly considered on a pretrial motion to dismiss. United States v. Pope, 613 F.3d 1255, 1260 (10th Cir. 2010); United States v. O'Brien, 994 F.Supp.2d 167, 174 n.2 (D. Mass. 2014). Because courts must treat the indictment's allegations as true in evaluating a motion to dismiss, defendants cannot raise claims relating to the sufficiency of the evidence underlying the indictment in a motion to dismiss. United States v. Guerrier, 669 F.3d 1, 3-4 (1st Cir. 2011). However, "a district court may consider a pretrial motion to dismiss an indictment where the government does not dispute the ability of the court to reach the motion and proffers, stipulates, or otherwise does not dispute the pertinent facts." United States v. Musso, 914 F.3d 26, 29-30 (1st Cir. 2019) (quoting United States v. Weaver, 659 F.3d 353, 355 n.* (4th Cir. 2011)).

         II. Il ...


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